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HomeNewsIndia launches investigation into fatal West Bengal train collision

India launches investigation into fatal West Bengal train collision

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India has commenced an investigation into the train collision that occurred in West Bengal, which resulted in nine fatalities and over 50 injuries. The collision involved a freight train crashing into the Kanchanjunga Express, a passenger train travelling from Tripura to Kolkata.

Chetan Kumar Shrivastava, General Manager of the Northeast Frontier Railway, announced that the inquiry would begin on Tuesday. “The investigation will encompass eye-witness testimonies, examination of official documents, and statements from railway personnel regarding signalling and other essential safety protocols,” he stated.

The passenger train had halted near a station in Darjeeling when the freight train, apparently ignoring a crucial signal, collided with it. The driver of the freight train, who was killed in the crash, is believed to have disregarded the signal, leading to the tragic accident.

There were 1,400 passengers on board the Kanchanjunga Express at the time. Following the collision, reports indicated that the automatic signalling system had malfunctioned earlier in the day. This failure necessitated the use of “paper signals,” instructing drivers to proceed with caution.

Opposition leaders have criticised the Modi government’s safety record, attributing the crash to negligence. This incident occurred just over a year after a significant rail disaster in Odisha, where a signalling error resulted in the deaths of 288 people.

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Survivors shared their harrowing experiences. “I did not feel like I was going to survive,” recounted Arti Roy, a passenger who lost her belongings in the ensuing chaos. Jahangir

Alam, a local resident who hurried to assist, described the scene as horrifying. “These accidents are extremely perilous,” he commented.

Jaya Varma Sinha, Chairman of India’s Railway Board, noted that the damage could have been more severe if not for the strategic placement of a guard wagon and two postal carriages at the rear of the passenger train. Sinha also highlighted ongoing efforts to implement an anti-collision system across the country to mitigate human error in railway operations.

India’s state-operated railway network, one of the largest globally, transports millions of passengers daily and carries substantial freight volumes. Despite its vast reach, the network faces persistent safety challenges, underscored by a history of accidents.

Partial services resumed on the affected tracks on Tuesday, with diversions and reduced-speed operations as investigations and recovery efforts proceed.

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